The SDLP lost two seats and Sinn Féin gained one in the new Ballyarnett ward on Friday (May 23) yet the performance of Independent Dermot Quigley was perhaps the story of the poll.
The SDLP needed to pick up every existing seat they had in Londonderry just to stand still in the battle with Sinn Féin without event considering the Sinn Féin advantage in Strabane.
And whilst that’s what happened in the Waterside DEA it didn’t happen here.
Sinn Féin were expecting a gain on account of the differential between the old Shantallow ward and the new entity but the Jimmy Carr furorer and a strong poll by Mr Quigley spelt disaster for the SDLP.
Following the election of Sinn Féin’s Sandra Duffy (1,163 first preferences), the SDLP’s Angela Dobbins (1,155 first preferences) and Tony Hassan (1,101 first preferences) it became clear the SDLP’s Brian Tierney (953 first preferences) would be elected, followed by Mr Quigley (1,037 first preferences) and Sinn Féin’s Elisha McCallion (985 first preferences).
Ballyarnett was the first DEA to be declared and three Sinn Féin, two SDLP and one independent, replaces a four SDLP and two Sinn Féin composition reflected by the current Derry City Council.
No-one has been elected to the Sperrin DEA, which was due for declaration on Friday (May 23) but was subject to a number of recounts.